It is the beginning of March and in balmy Kansas it is starting to feel like spring is upon us. The days are getting longer, there is definitely more sun, and I am loving the opportunity to enjoy more porch time to just soak it all in. I don’t know about you, but I love the fact that I can start whipping out my favorite spring wardrobe and feel as if I have an extra hop in my step.
These changes that happen every year are a welcomed change from the monotony of winter; the constant cold, blustery days filled with clouds, rain, sleet, and snow are almost a distant memory. People come out in force on those beautiful days. Bike riders line the streets. All of the sudden running clubs emerge from their winter slumber. We humans need the change. In this case the changing of the seasons is something we either look forward to or merely adapt to every year. But, I ask you, what is stopping fellow educators from pulling our bikes out of the garage and going on adventure?
As a teacher I have seen first hand how many handle change in education. There are a couple options when it comes to change: “Oh, no you didn’t!” or “Go on and get it!” mentalities. Change can be a scary thing. Educators are often get set in their ways. They like things they way they are. Students are doing well, so why change it, right? Those with that mindset are not ready to embrace a new challenge and often fight the process. They will stick to what they know and not venture outside of the box.
Meanwhile, there are those educators who just love to meet the challenge head on. They hear or see something that sounds like it could be great for kids and give it a whirl. Often times those new ideas don’t work well the first time. But those teachers pick up their bootstraps, strap on their big boy belts and try it again.
We can all have that Innovator’s Mindset. Sometimes those who resist change just need to see it in action. They need a brave soul to go out there, try it, and like we heard in last night’s podcast, have that teacher invite others into the classroom of innovation to say, “Hey, what do you think?”
Innovation is having the freedom to do something incredible. George Couros describes innovation “as a way of thinking that creates something new and better.” I don’t know about you, but I want it. I just gotta have it! An Innovator’s Mindset is what has been missing from my teaching career. By embracing the mindset, I feel as though I have a new fire burning in my belly. This fire that just can’t be contained. I have a need to learn, try, and share, repeat.
So, why not embrace the Innovator’s Mindset? Innovation starts with one spark. Be the spark.
Mena T. Hill
Educator, Wife, Mother, Colorado Native